What happened in 1989 with the border of Hungary and East Germany?

Thirty years ago, Hungary lifted restrictions on travel to Austria, enabling tens of thousands of East Germans to flee to the West. The September 1989 events in Hungary are often described as the first cracks in the Berlin Wall.

Why did Hungary open its border with Austria?

The open border meant that it was easier for Hungarians to cross into Austria for goods and services; many Hungarians availed themselves of this to purchase consumer goods which had been unavailable or scarce in their own country; a visible sign of this in the first few weeks was that many cars could be seen in …

When did East Germany close the border?

In 1952, the East German government closed the border with West Germany, but the border between East and West Berlin remained open. East Germans could still escape through the city to the less oppressive and more affluent West.

When was the Hungarian border opened?

11 September
Kohl telephoned Gorbachev, informing him of Németh’s decision, and Gorbachev assured Kohl that the Hungarian premier “was a good man”. On 11 September the border was opened, and 30,000 East Germans fled to the West.

Why did East Germany close their borders?

The East German move was taken to limit the continuing exodus of its citizens, which threatened the viability of East Germany’s economy. A ploughed strip 10 m (32.8 ft) wide was created along the entire length of the inner German border.

Why did the refugees have to pass through East Germany?

Escapees had various motives for attempting to flee East Germany. The vast majority had an essentially economic motive: they wished to improve their living conditions and opportunities in the West. Some fled for political reasons, but many were impelled to leave by specific social and political events.

When did Hungary become free?

The reburial of Imre Nagy and other prominent figures of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution on June 16, 1989 in Heroes’ Square, Budapest. The socialist rule in the People’s Republic of Hungary came to an end in 1989 by a peaceful transition to a democratic system.

Is there a border between Hungary and Austria?

The border between Austria and Hungary is 366 km long, and begins on the river Danube, opposite the Slovakian town of Šamorin.

Could West Germans enter East Germany?

West Germans and citizens of other Western countries could in general visit East Germany. West Berliners initially could not visit East Berlin or East Germany at all. All crossing points were closed to them between 26 August 1961 and 17 December 1963.

Did Hungary open borders?

Anyone coming from Croatia, Austria, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia or Slovenia can enter Hungary freely after the latter opened its Schengen borders for those passing land borders, the Hungarian authorities announced. However, restrictions for air travelling remain unchanged, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

How did the East Germans get out of Hungary?

Somehow, chief inspector Goeltl managed to sneak the boy in. By the end of that day, more than 600 East Germans had crossed over to the West. Three weeks later, when Hungary fully opened its borders, 60,000 flooded out. Among the first to leave was Robert Breitner, who arrived in Berlin in time to see the Wall collapse.

When did the border between East and West Germany open?

Opening of the border and the fall of the GDR. The opening of the border: East Germans in Trabants at Helmstedt, 11 November 1989. East German cars entering West Germany through a newly cut hole in the border fence.

When was Hungary’s border fence with Austria dismantled?

Such a scenario played out in 1989 when Hungary dismantled its border fence with Austria. Hungary was at that time a popular tourist destination for East Germans, due to the trappings of prosperity that were absent at home – good and plentiful food and wine, pleasant camping and a lively capital city.

Where did the East Germans arrive in Germany?

21 East Germans arrive from Hungary, via Austria, at the Hengersberg refugee camp in Passau, Germany, on September 12. An estimated 70,000 East Germans fled to the West within days of the opening of the Hungarian border. 22 A smiling couple holds a balloon reading “Warm Welcome” in Passau, Germany, after riding by train from Lake Balaton, Hungary.